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For decades, it has endured as one of the aviation world’s great unsolved mysteries: What happened to famed pilot Amelia Earhart on her fateful 1937 attempt to circumnavigate the globe? According to photographic evidence at the center of an upcoming History Channel documentary, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan survived.
The black-and-white photograph shows a small group of people gathered a dock in the Marshall Islands, two of whom appear to be caucasian — a photographic analysis cited in a Today Show preview of the documentary claims these figures match up with the profiles of Earhart and Noonan. Adding to the evidence is a ship towing an white object that the appears to match the dimensions of a Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the same plane Earhart piloted on her final flight. That ship, identified in the segment as the Japanese Koshu Maru, has been linked to Earhart’s disappearance before.
The photograph breathes new life into the longstanding theory that Earhart and Noonan crash-landed in the Marshall Islands only to be captured by the Japanese. It’s not known what happened to Earhart after the alleged photo of her and Noonan was taken, though the segment nods to wide suspicion that the pair died in Japanese captivity. Former US Treasury Agent Les Kinney discovered the photograph in the National Archives in 2012 and revealed it for the first time on TODAY this week.
A two-hour investigative documentary, Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, premieres on The History Channel this Sunday, July 9, at 9:00pm ET and could bring a definitive end one of aviation’s greatest mysteries — or may just reveal the latest clue in a case that might never be truly solved.
Featured photo courtesy of Getty Images.
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